Historic market to be recreated in Washington
The event will feature four farm stands; vendors; Rick Spencer’s musical program, “To End All Wars: Songs of the First World War,” at 11:30 a.m.; a pie-eating contest for all ages at 1 p.m.; a tug-of-war contest with teams from Washington town groups and businesses at 1:30 p.m.; three-legged races at 2 p.m.; and a water balloon toss at 2:30 p.m.
An old-fashioned picnic lunch with ice cream and lemonade will be available throughout the afternoon, and drawings for vendor gift baskets will be offered at 2 p.m.
Averill, Waldingfield, Kimberly and Ox Hollow farms will sell local fresh vegetables and fruit.
In addition, offerings will include oils and balsamic vinegars from The Olive Oil Factory; jams, chutneys, pickles and sauces by New Preston Provisions; chocolate sauces and Anne Kelly’s home-made granolas; natural yarns and textiles from Siren’s Song Yarns & Fibers; collections and accessories from La Petite Stationery; homemade scented soaps and lotions by The Raven & The Rose; garden plants and designs by Everything Botanicals; ceramic artistry of Bell Hill Pottery; and vintage clothing and accessories from Lovely Louise.
Three months after World War I began in Europe, a group of women living around the town green in Washington decided to change the focus of their reading and sewing circle to an active society working to support the allied countries in Europe who were involved in this conflict.
They called themselves the Sister Susies using a popular war song, “Sister Susie Sewing Shirts for Soldiers” as the inspiration for the name of their new organization.
At first, the women received contributions of money and clothing from Washington residents, but in the spring of 1915 they broadened their plans for fundraising.
They held card parties, encouraged the towns’ churches to take up special collections and installed donation boxes at local business sites.
As the war continued, the Sister Susies expanded their membership to include the entire town of Washington.
Local citizens were enthusiastic and supportive and subsequent events raised additional funds.
One significant bazaar called the “Allied Market” was held on the town green in August of 1916.
It featured Sister Susie volunteers dressed in ethnic costumes of the allied nations in Europe at “farm-stands” where they sold produce, wares and trinkets native to those countries.
Games, contests, food and musical entertainment were also offered to the large number of attendees.
Period costumes are welcome.
For more information, visit www.gunnmuseum.org, call 860-868-7756 or email info@gunnhistoricalmuseum